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Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Gala goes virtual

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 13th annual American Cancer Society Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Gala will be held virtually on Wednesday, May 20 at 7 p.m. The gala was originally scheduled to take place in April in Madison but was delayed because of the public health emergency.

“With our Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Gala and many other events that fuel the American Cancer Society’s mission essentially grounded due to COVID-19, the fight against cancer is at risk,” said Matt Uselman, gala chair and co-founder of Madison-based Wind River Financial. “But it’s a fight that can’t be canceled, postponed, or rescheduled. Cancer won’t stop. So neither can we.”

With the event now online, no ticket purchase is required and the gala will stream for free on the Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Facebook page ( and Viewers will experience an inspirational program featuring college basketball coaching legend Bo Ryan and his wife Kelly, as well as videos from past gala speakers, including: Tim Brando, Fox Sports commentator; Andy Katz, Big Ten Network college basketball analyst and UW–Madison alum; Phil Martelli, assistant men’s basketball coach at the University of Michigan.

The American Cancer Society will also honor UW-Madison alum and former professional golfer Jim Lemon during the program. Lemon played on the UW–Madison men’s golf team prior to joining the Canadian Tour; he won the Wisconsin State Open in 2013. Lemon was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in late 2019 and is receiving treatment in Madison. Along with his wife Kate, they will share their story as part of a “raise-the-paddle” fundraiser for cancer research.

A silent auction with over 75 items and experiences is now open to the public. Those who wish to bid on auction items must register at

During this challenging time, patients, survivors, and caregivers are turning to the American Cancer Society for information, resources, and support. Funds raised by the Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Gala help the American Cancer Society continue to invest in cancer research and provide programs critical for cancer patients now and in the future.

“Cancer patients are counting on the American Cancer Society now more than ever before,” Uselman added. “We’re also making measurable progress with a 29% drop in cancer death rates — we simply can’t let cancer gain ground now.”

The Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Gala is the most successful American Cancer Society gala of its kind in the U.S., having raised more than $7.7 million since 2008.

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